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Posts Tagged: Expert of the Day

The art market may be the most illusive of the industries that former staff photographers are exploring, but I don’t know a single photographer who would mind seeing their prints up on a nice white wall in some gallery. Marita has a great take since she not only founded a gallery that does a lot with photojournalists, but she’s also consulted extensive with photographers for the exact topics that I’m sure you’re dying to ask her about. Leave a question in the comments section, along with your website if you have one, and she’ll respond asap, also in the comments, so others can benefit from the good advice. NOTE: Marita has graciously agreed to continue to answer questions through next week, although her answers might not be as prompt as usual since she’ll be away from the office.

Marita Holdaway

www.benhamgallery.com

I founded Benham Gallery in Seattle in 1987. Dedicated to emerging and mid-career fine art photographers, I have been consulting since 1998, and reviewing over 1,000 portfolios annually. I have presented workshops for artists nationally and internationally, helping them further their careers by developing their professional tools for finding and successfully approaching appropriate venues. As an invited reviewer and speaker, I have attended over a dozen photo festivals in the USA, Latin America and Europe.

My hope is that photographers will learn to follow their hearts and not the almighty dollar. There are so many other ways to become wealthy without selling your soul and time to corporate America. Perhaps the photo community can find a way to tell the important stories, instead of the sound bites the media puts out.

Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

Rachel agreed to speak on behalf of LaCour Photo, which she founded with husband Andrew and fellow ex-staffer Mark Adams. LaCour’s fast rise is a testament to the success photojournalists can have in the wedding market. Of course, being whip smart and always eager to help doesn’t hurt either. When Rachel was helping brainstorm this series, I threw out some broad topics and was amazed to get all this back.

Ask her about technique, workflow, marketing, or anything else that’s on your mind — I’m sure you’ll be equally impressed. Leave a question in the comments section, along with your website if you have one, and she’ll respond asap, also in the comments, so others can benefit from the good advice.

Rachel LaCour Niesen

www.lacourphoto.com

As a photojournalist, I have pursued projects focusing on rural communities in Latin America and the Southeastern United States. My work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. I earned a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, where I was named one of the Scripps-Howard Foundation’s Top Ten Young Journalists.

When I stumbled upon wedding photography, I quickly traded my front row seat to world history for a front row seat to family history. Along with Andrew Niesen and Mark Adams, I started a wedding photography company, LaCour, which was named among the “Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World” by American Photo magazine. I’m also a co-founder of ShootQ, innovative web-based studio management software designed to free photographers from the tedious tasks of managing their business.

Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

Amy oversees one of the most important photo grants out there, because instead of emphasizing just money or prestige, it focuses on results. Photographers applying for the Open Society Institute’s Distribution Grant are required to partner with an organization working in the community they’re documenting and to strategize how to create positive social change with their images. I’m sure she’ll have some great insights, therefore, into how photographers can work with NGOs to achieve their larger goals.

Amy Yenkin

www.soros.org/initiatives/photography
I am the director of the Open Society Institute’s Documentary Photography Project, based in New York City. Through exhibits, workshops, grantmaking, and public programs, this project explores how photography can shape public perception and effect social change.

I joined OSI in 1994, helped establish the Moving Walls exhibition in 1998, and in 2004 developed and launched OSI’s Documentary Photography Project. Prior to OSI, I worked in Washington, D.C., as the director of government relations for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where I represented U.S. colleges and universities in lobbying the U.S. Congress and government agencies on immigration policies affecting foreign students and the hiring of foreign faculty and researchers. I received a BA in history from the University of Michigan.

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I’ve spent a decade supporting documentary photographers who devote years to personal projects. These photographers are thinking beyond getting a few images published in a newspaper or magazine — they want to have real impact. This happens when they:

  • are deeply connected to the communities they document
  • are working closely with (although not necessarily for) the NGOs/advocates in the community
  • know their target audience and develop an innovative distribution strategy (not just books and art gallery exhibitions) best suited for reaching that audience
  • partner effectively with advocates to distribute the work

Working with advocates/NGOs can greatly enhance a project’s reach and provide a photographer with on-the-ground contacts and assistance, as well as financial support. But there are challenges as well.

NGOs are not media organizations and have a different relationship to photographers. They also have their own agendas, which may or may not dovetail with a photographer’s. Sometimes there is a match. Sometimes not –- in which case, it may just be an assignment, not a long term relationship.

Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

One of the questions I hear most from photographers, whether they used to be staffers or not, is, “How do I get commercial jobs?” A close second is, “How do I find a commercial rep?” As day and page rates for editorial work decline, it’s no surprise that photographers are paying attention to where the money is still flowing.

So now’s your chance to ask. As Maren’s introduction suggests, her areas of expertise are varied, and she’s truly eager to help. Leave a question in the comments section, along with your website if you have one, and he’ll respond asap, also in the comments, so others can benefit from the good advice.

Maren Levinson

www.redeyereps.com

Photo by Amanda Marsalis

Photo by Amanda Marsalis

I founded Redeye in 2005 as a photo agency that supports photographers with both fine-art and commercial careers. I have always believed a photographer benefits from a multifaceted career, and I am interested in inspired work of any kind. Redeye currently represents six photographers, each with their own distinct photographic voice.

Before starting Redeye, I was a photo editor at Dwell and Mother Jones magazines, and consulted at various publications including Big, Chow, and GOOD magazines. I have also consulted with design firms and emerging photographers.

I love to edit and match up a photographer with their perfect job, path, or next project. Feel free to ask me anything and, if I don’t know the answer, I will make up something really good.

Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

You’ve packed up your boxes and hopefully made off with most of your images, too. One of the first things to decide is how to share them with the world — especially potential clients. A website is pretty much required, but do you need a physical book too? Should you focus on single images or stories? Diversity or a unique vision?


John Kaplan
, who wrote Photo Portfolio Success and has had impressive success with his own portfolio over the years, is here to answer your questions. Leave a question in the comments section, along with your website if you have one, and he’ll respond asap, also in the comments, so others can benefit from the good advice.

John Kaplan

www.johnkaplan.com
John Kaplan is one of America’s most accomplished narrative photographers, having been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, POY National Newspaper Photographer of the Year, the Overseas Press Club Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, and the Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant. He is also the author of Photo Portfolio Success, which helps photographers edit to their strengths and prepare stunning portfolios that eliminate doubt in the minds of editors, buyers and contest judges.

A full professor at the University of Florida and a Fulbright Scholar, John teaches throughout the world and has twice been named a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. His work has appeared in LIFE, The New York Times, American Photo and numerous book annuals.

John’s work is exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide including solo exhibitions in the United States, Peru, Bolivia and Korea as well as shows in the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Korea, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. His project on survivors of torture in West Africa was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for Feature Photography and the Harry Chapin Media Award; the United Nations used the work to help facilitate contact with the victims.

Presently, John is directing and producing his first feature length film, the autobiographical Not As I Pictured: A Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer’s Journey Through Lymphoma.

Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.



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